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Justice and Judgment in the Laws of Hammurabi and Moses

            Hammurabi was the sixth, but most well known, ruler of Babylon (reigning from 1792 to 1750 BC). He is so well know, in fact, Hammurabi is the often credited with creating Babylonian empire. He did, however, transform Babylon into one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. It is believed by Archaeologists, studying the ancient areas consisting of where Babylon would have been, they have discovered that city streets were arranged in straight lines that intersect at approximately right angles, providing forethought into extensive city planning and a strong central government. As great a ruler as Hammurabi was, he is most notably known for his Code of Laws, which are widely regarded as the first written and enforced system of laws known to man. Hammurabi, noting a need for enforcing certain standards of conducts and for resolving disputes among his people, enacted his Code of Laws in hopes to resolve the issue. Although his laws are harsh and somewhat cruel by today's standards (i.e. almost every law involves the death penalty for those who are found guilty), he very well could have been trying to enact a "shock- system to persuade criminals to abandon their ways.
             Hammurabi's Code of Laws consisted of some 282+ specific laws covering every imaginable problem or situation of the era. These laws were found carved into a stone statue by a French research team. Although several sections appear missing, it is generally thought most of the Code of Laws in intact. Found among his laws are the first known building code laws, slavery laws, and personal property laws. "From the code it is evident that there were distinct social classes, each of which had its rights and obligations. The right of private property was recognized, though most of the land was in the hands of the royal house. Ownership of land brought with it the duty to provide men for the army and public works."" Clearly, Hammurabi intent was to apply laws to each and every citizen, regardless of social class and status, though citizens of a higher status may not be found guilty of crimes that require the death penalty.

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